Completing the FAFSA Form 2018-19

Completing the FAFSA® Form 2018–19
                                            Free Application for Federal Student Aid

INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................8

WHAT IS THE FAFSA FORM? ...................................................................................................................8

HOW DO I COMPLETE THE FAFSA FORM? ..........................................................................................8

WHEN DO I SUBMIT MY FAFSA FORM? ................................................................................................8

IF YOU PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED A FAFSA FORM............................................................................9

USING AN FSA ID TO SIGN YOUR FAFSA FORM ..................................................................................9

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY? ...................................................................................................... 10

WHAT FINANCIAL AID WILL I GET? ................................................................................................... 10

HOW WILL I GET MY FINANCIAL AID? .............................................................................................. 10

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ..................................................................................................................... 10

INSTRUCTIONS FOR EACH QUESTION .............................................................................................. 11

OVERVIEW FOR QUESTIONS 1–31 (ALL APPLICANTS MUST COMPLETE) ........................... 11

Question 1: Student’s Last Name (Your last name) .................................................................................................. 11

Question 2: Student’s First Name (Your first name) ................................................................................................. 11

Question 3: Student’s Middle Initial (Your middle initial) ........................................................................................ 11

Question 4: Student’s Permanent Mailing Address (Your permanent mailing address) ........................................... 11

Question 5: Student’s Permanent City (Your city) .................................................................................................... 12

Question 6: Student’s Permanent State (Your state) ............................................................................................... 12

Question 7: Student’s Permanent ZIP Code (Your ZIP code) ..................................................................................... 12

Question 8: Student’s Social Security Number (Your Social Security Number) ......................................................... 12

Question 9: Student’s Date of Birth (Your date of birth) .......................................................................................... 12


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Question 10: Student’s Telephone Number (Your telephone number) .................................................................... 12

Question 11: Student’s Driver’s License Number (Your driver's license number) ..................................................... 12

Question 12: Student’s Driver’s License State (Your driver's license state) ............................................................... 13

Question 13: Student’s E-mail Address (Your e-mail address) .................................................................................. 13

Question 14: Student’s Citizenship Status (Are you a U.S. citizen?) ......................................................................... 13

Question 15: Student’s Alien Registration Number (Your Alien Registration Number) ............................................. 13

Question 16: Student’s Marital Status (What is your marital status?) ...................................................................... 14

Question 17: Student’s Marital Status Date (Month and year you were married, separated, divorced, or widowed)
................................................................................................................................................................................ 14

Question 18: Student’s State of Legal Residence (What is your state of legal residence?) ........................................ 14

Question 19: Was Student a Legal Resident Before January 1, 2013? (Did you become a legal resident of your state
before January 1, 2013?) ......................................................................................................................................... 14

Question 20: Student’s Legal Residence Date (Month and year you became a legal resident).................................. 15

Question 21: Is the Student Male or Female? (Are you male or female?) ................................................................. 15

Question 22: Register Student With Selective Service? (Most male citizens and male immigrants must register with
the Selective Service System to receive federal student aid. If you are not registered, select “Register me”) ........ 15

Question 23: Student Convicted of Possession or Sale (Have you been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal
drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (grants, work-study, and/or
loans)?) .................................................................................................................................................................... 15

Questions 24 and 25: Parent’s Educational Level (Highest school your parent completed)..................................... 16

Question 26: Student’s High School or Equivalent Completed? (What will your high school completion status be
when you begin college in the 2018–2019 school year?) ......................................................................................... 16

Question 27: Student’s High School Name, City, and State....................................................................................... 16

Question 28: First Bachelor’s Degree before 2018–2019 school year? (Will you have your first bachelor’s degree
before you begin the 2018–2019 school year?) ....................................................................................................... 17

Question 29: Student’s Grade Level in College in 2018–2019 (What will your college grade level be when you begin
the 2018-2019 school year?) .................................................................................................................................... 17

Question 30: Type of Degree/Certificate (What degree or certificate will you be working on when you begin the
2018–2019 school year?) ......................................................................................................................................... 17

Question 31: Interested in Work-study? (Are you interested in being considered for work- study?) ....................... 17


OVERVIEW FOR QUESTIONS 32–45 (ALL APPLICANTS MUST COMPLETE) ........................ 18

Question 32: Student Filed 2016 Income Tax Return? (Have you completed a 2016 income tax return?) ................ 18

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Question 33: Student’s Type of 2016 Tax Form Used (What income tax return did you file or will you file for 2016?)
................................................................................................................................................................................ 18

Question 34: Student’s 2016 Tax Return Filing Status (For 2016, what is or will be your tax filing status according to
your tax return?) ..................................................................................................................................................... 18

Question 35: Student Eligible to File a 1040A or 1040EZ? (Were you eligible to file a 1041A or 1040EZ?) ................ 19

Question 36: Student’s 2016 Adjusted Gross Income (What was your adjusted gross income for 2016?) ............... 20

Question 37: Student’s 2016 U.S. Income Tax Paid (What was your income tax for 2016?) ...................................... 21

Question 38: Student’s 2016 Exemptions Claimed (How many exemptions did you claim?) .................................... 23

Question 39: Student’s 2016 Income Earned from Work (How much did you earn from working in 2016?) ............ 23

Question 40: Spouse’s 2016 Income Earned from Work (How much did your spouse earn from working in 2016?) 24

Question 41: Student’s Total of Cash, Savings, and Checking Accounts (What is the total current balance of your
cash, savings, and checking accounts?) .................................................................................................................... 25

Question 42: Student’s Net Worth of Current Investments (What is the net worth of your investments?) ............ 26

Question 43: Student’s Net Worth of Businesses/Investment Farms (What is the net worth of your current
businesses and/or investment farms?) .................................................................................................................... 27

Question 44a: Student’s Education Credits (What were your total education credits?) .......................................... 28

Question 44b: Student’s Child Support Paid (How much total child support did you pay?) ...................................... 29

Question 44c: Student’s Taxable Earnings from Need-Based Employment Programs (What were your taxable
earnings from need-based employment programs?) ............................................................................................... 29

Question 44d: Student’s College Grant and Scholarship Aid Reported to the IRS as Income (How much taxable
college grant or scholarship aid did you report to the IRS as income?) .................................................................... 30

Question 44e: Student’s Taxable Combat Pay Reported in AGI (How much combat pay or special combat pay did
you report in your AGI?) .......................................................................................................................................... 30

Question 44f: Student’s Cooperative Education Earnings (What were your earnings from work under a Cooperative
Education Program offered by a college?) ............................................................................................................... 30

Question 45a: Student’s Payments to Tax-Deferred Pensions and Retirement Savings (What were your total tax-
deferred pension payments?) .................................................................................................................................. 30

Question 45b: Student’s Deductible Payments to IRA/Keogh/Other (How much did you pay to your IRA or Keogh?)
................................................................................................................................................................................ 31

Question 45c: Student’s Child Support Received (How much total child support did you receive?) ........................ 31

Question 45d: Student’s Tax Exempt Interest Income (What was your total tax-exempt interest income?) ........... 31

Question 45e: Student’s Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions (What were your total untaxed portions of IRA
distributions?) ......................................................................................................................................................... 32


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Questions 45f: Students Untaxed Portions of Pensions (What were your total untaxed portions of pensions?) .... 33

Questions 45g: Student’s Housing, Food, and Living Allowances (What were your total allowances received?) ..... 34

Question 45h: Student’s Veterans Noneducation Benefits (What were your total veterans noneducation benefits?)
................................................................................................................................................................................ 34

Question 45i: Student’s Other Untaxed Income or Benefits (What was the total of your other untaxed income or
benefits?) ................................................................................................................................................................ 34

Question 45j: Money Received or Paid on Student’s Behalf (What other money has been paid on your behalf?) .. 34


OVERVIEW FOR QUESTIONS 46–58 (DEPENDENCY QUESTIONS: ALL APPLICANTS MUST
COMPLETE) ............................................................................................................................................... 35

Question 46: Student Born Before January 1, 1995? (Were you born before January 1, 1995?) .............................. 35

Question 47: Is Student Married? (Are you married?) .............................................................................................. 35

Question 48: Student Working on Master’s or Doctorate in 2018–2019? (At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school
year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate
certificate, etc.?) ...................................................................................................................................................... 36

Question 49: Is Student on Active Duty in U.S. Armed Forces? (Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S.
Armed Forces for purposes other than training?) .................................................................................................... 36

Question 50: Is Student a Veteran? (Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?) ................................................. 36

Question 51: Does Student Have Children He/She Supports? (Do you now have or will you have children who will
receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019?) ................................. 37

Question 52: Does Student Have Dependents Other than Children/Spouse? (Do you have dependents (other than
your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and
through June 30, 2019?) .......................................................................................................................................... 37

Question 53: Parents Deceased?/Student Ward of Court?/In Foster Care? (At any time since you turned age 13,
were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?) ........ 37

Question 54: Is or Was Student an Emancipated Minor? (As determined by a court in your state of legal residence,
are you or were you an emancipated minor?) ......................................................................................................... 38

Question 55: Is or Was Student in Legal Guardianship? (Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have
legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?) .......................................... 38

Question 56: Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by High School/Homeless Liaison? (At
any time on or after July 1, 2017, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were
an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?) .................. 39

Question 57: Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by HUD? (At any time on or after July
1, 2017, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or
were self- supporting and at risk of being homeless?) ............................................................................................ 39

Question 58: Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by Director of Homeless Youth Center?

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(At any time on or after July 1, 2017, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional
living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and
at risk of being homeless?)...................................................................................................................................... 40


OVERVIEW FOR QUESTIONS 59–94 (DEPENDENT APPLICANTS MUST COMPLETE) ........ 40

Question 59: Parents’ Marital Status (As of today, what is the marital status of your parents?) ............................. 40

Question 60: Parents’ Marital Status Date (Month and year your parents were married, separated, divorced, or
widowed) ................................................................................................................................................................ 41

Questions 61 (Parent 1) and 65 (Parent 2): Parent’s Social Security Number (What is your parent’s Social Security
Number?) ................................................................................................................................................................ 41

Questions 62 (Parent 1) and 66 (Parent 2): Parents’ Last Name (What is your parent’s last name?) ........................ 42

Questions 63 (parent 1 and 67 (parent 2): Parent’s First Name Initial (What is your parent’s first initial?) .............. 42

Questions 64 (Parent 1) and 68 (Parent 2): Parent’s Date of Birth (What is your parent’s date of birth?) .............. 42

Question 69: Your parents’ E-mail Address (Your parents’ e-mail address) .............................................................. 42

Question 70: Parents’ State of Legal Residence (What is your parents' state of legal residence?) .......................... 43

Questions 71: Were Parents Legal Residents Before January 1, 2013? (Did your parents become legal residents of
their state before January 1, 2013?) ........................................................................................................................ 43

Question 72: Parents Legal Residence Date (Month and year your parents became legal residents) ...................... 43

Question 73: Parents’ Number of Family Members in 2018–2019 (Your parents’ number of family members in
2018–2019 (household size)) ................................................................................................................................... 44

Question 74: Parents’ Number in College in 2018–2019 (Parents Excluded) (How many people in your parents’
household will be college students in 2018–2019?) ................................................................................................. 44

Questions 75–79: Parents Received Medicaid/Supplemental Security Income/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP)/Free or Reduced Price School Lunch/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/Special
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children?...................................................................... 44

Question 80: Parents Filed 2016 Income Tax Return? (Have your parents completed a 2016 income tax return?) .. 45

Question 81: Parents’ Type of 2016 Tax Form Used (What type of income tax return did your parents file or will
they file for 2016?) .................................................................................................................................................. 45

Question 82: Parents’ 2016 Tax Return Filing Status (For 2016, what is or will be your parents’ tax filing status
according to their tax return?) ................................................................................................................................. 46

Question 83: Parents Eligible to File 1040A or 1040EZ? (Were your parents eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ?) ..... 46

Question 84: Is Parent a Dislocated Worker? (Is either of your parents a dislocated worker?) ............................... 47

Question 85: Parents’ 2016 Adjusted Gross Income (What was your parents' adjusted gross income for 2016?) ... 48

Question 86: Parents’ 2016 U.S. Income Tax Paid (What was your parents' total income tax for 2016?) ................ 49

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Question 87: Parents’ 2016 Exemptions Claimed (How many exemptions did your parents claim?) ...................... 50

Questions 88 and 89: Parent’s 2016 Income Earned from Work (How much did your parent earn from working in
2016?)...................................................................................................................................................................... 51

Question 90: Parents’ Total of Cash, Savings, and Checking Accounts (What is the total current balance of your
parents’ cash, savings, and checking accounts?) ...................................................................................................... 52

Question 91: Parents’ Net Worth of Current Investments (What is the net worth of your parents’ investments?) . 53

Question 92: Parents’ Net Worth of Businesses/Investment Farms (What is the net worth of your parents’ current
businesses and/or investment farms?) .................................................................................................................... 54

Question 93a: Parents Education Credits (What were your parents' total education credits?) ............................... 56

Question 93b: Parents’ Child Support Paid (How much total child support did your parents pay?) ......................... 56

Question 93c: Parents’ Taxable Earnings from Need-based Employment Programs (What were your parents’
taxable earnings from need-based employment programs?) ................................................................................... 56

Question 93d: Parents’ College Grant and Scholarship Aid Reported to the IRS as Income (How much taxable
college grant or scholarship aid did your parents report to the IRS as Income?) ...................................................... 57

Question 93e: Parents’ Taxable Combat Pay Reported in AGI (How much combat pay or special combat pay did
your parents report in their AGI?)............................................................................................................................ 57

Question 93f: Parents’ Cooperative Education Earnings (What were your parents’ earnings from work under a
Cooperative Education Program offered by a college?) ........................................................................................... 57

Question 94a: Parents’ Payments to Tax-Deferred Pensions and Retirement Savings (What were your parents’ total
tax-deferred pension payments?) ............................................................................................................................ 58

Question 94b: Parents’ Deductible Payments to IRA/Keogh/Other (How much did your parents pay to their IRA or
Keogh?) ................................................................................................................................................................... 58

Question 94c: Parents’ Child Support Received (How much total child support did your parents receive?) ............ 58

Question 94d: Parents’ Tax Exempt Interest Income (What was your parents’ total tax- exempt interest income?)
................................................................................................................................................................................ 59

Question 94e: Parents’ Total Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions (What were your parents’ total untaxed
portions of IRA distributions?) ................................................................................................................................. 59

Question 94f: Parents’ Untaxed Portions of Pensions (What were your parents’ total untaxed portions of
pensions?) ............................................................................................................................................................... 60

Question 94g: Parents’ Housing, Food, and Living Allowances (What were your parents’ total allowances
received?) ................................................................................................................................................................ 60

Question 94h: Parents’ Veterans Noneducation Benefits (What were your parents' total veterans noneducation
benefits?) ................................................................................................................................................................ 61

Question 94i: Parents’ Other Untaxed Income or Benefits (What was the total of your parents’ other untaxed
income or benefits?) ................................................................................................................................................ 61


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OVERVIEW FOR QUESTIONS 95-102 (INDEPENDENT STUDENTS) ......................................... 61

Question 95: Student’s Number of Family Members in 2018–2019 (Your number of family members in 2018–2019
(household size)) ..................................................................................................................................................... 62

Question 96: Student’s Number in College in 2018–2019 (How many people in your household will be in college in
2018–2019?) ............................................................................................................................................................ 62

Questions 97–101: Students Received Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP), Free or Reduced Price School Lunch, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) ................................................ 62

Question 102: Is Student or Spouse a Dislocated Worker (Are you or your spouse a dislocated worker?) .............. 63


OVERVIEW FOR QUESTION 103.......................................................................................................... 64

Question 103a, 103c, 103e, 103g: Federal School Code ............................................................................................ 64

Question 103b, 103d, 103f, 103h: Housing Plans...................................................................................................... 64


OVERVIEW FOR QUESTIONS 104–108.............................................................................................. 64

Question 104: Date this form was completed. ......................................................................................................... 64

Question 105: Student and Parent signature ........................................................................................................... 64

Question 106: Preparer’s Social Security Number .................................................................................................... 64

Question 107: Preparer’s Employer Identification Number ...................................................................................... 65

Question 108: Preparer’s Signature and Date .......................................................................................................... 65


NEXT STEPS ............................................................................................................................................... 65


September 2017

FAFSA® and NSLDS® are registered service marks of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education.




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Introduction
This document provides information to help you complete and submit the 2018–19 Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. It provides a brief overview of the FAFSA
form and the financial aid application process. It also lists the help topics that are provided for
each question of the FAFSA form.
Throughout this document, “you” and “your” refer to the student. “School” refers to the college,
career school, or postsecondary institution the student is attending (or applying to).
What is the FAFSA form?
The FAFSA form is the application you will use to apply for federal student aid programs offered
by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free,
and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to help pay for college or career
school. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and
supplies, transportation, and other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. In
addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for
state aid and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA
information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.
ED awards more than $120 billion a year in federal student aid (grants, work-study funds, and
loans). Learn more at StudentAid.gov/types.
How do I complete the FAFSA form?
Most students and families complete the FAFSA form online at fafsa.gov. We recommend
the online form because
   •   fafsa.gov has built-in help to guide you through the application process;
   •   fafsa.gov uses “skip logic” that allows you to skip questions that don’t apply to you; and
   •   the schools you list on your application will receive your processed information faster.
If you are unable to fill out the online form due to slow or nonexistent internet access, try one of
these options for completing the FAFSA form:
   •   You can download and complete a PDF FAFSA form (go to fafsa.gov and scroll to
       FAFSA Filing Options) or have someone download and print out the PDF for you.
   •   You can order and complete a printed version of the PDF FAFSA form (you may
       request up to three copies of the printed PDF FAFSA form by calling 1-800-4-FED-
       AID [1-800-433-3243]).
In some cases, you might be able to apply directly through your school. You can check with the
financial aid office at the school you are interested in attending to see if the school can assist
you with your application. Some schools use special software to submit your FAFSA form for
you.
When do I submit my FAFSA form?
For the 2018–19 academic year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019), you can file your FAFSA
form as early as Oct. 1, 2017. The following table provides a summary of the key dates for
submitting the FAFSA form depending on when you plan to go to school.


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You will                                              Using
    If you plan to attend                            You can submit the FAFSA
                                  submit this                                         income and
        college from                                           from
                                    FAFSA                                            tax info from
 July 1, 2017–June 30,             2017–18        Oct. 1, 2016–June 30, 2018              2015
 2018
 July 1, 2018–June 30, 2019        2018–19        Oct. 1, 2017–June 30, 2019             2016
 July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020        2019–20        Oct. 1, 2018–June 30, 2020             2017

Note: Keep in mind that while the 2018–19 FAFSA deadline for federal aid is June 30, 2019,
your state and school probably have earlier FAFSA deadlines for students who want to receive
the state’s or school’s aid. For some states, the deadline is “as soon as possible after Oct. 1.” Some
states may have limited financial aid funds—and you could miss out on aid if you wait until the
last minute to apply. Check with your school’s financial aid office or consult its website to make
sure you are aware of the school’s financial aid deadlines. To maximize your potential aid, you
should submit a FAFSA form as early as possible after Oct. 1.
If You Previously Submitted a FAFSA Form
If you filed a 2017–18 FAFSA form, you will see a “FAFSA Renewal” button. Selecting the
“FAFSA Renewal” button will allow you to prefill your 2018–19 FAFSA form with certain
information from your 2017–18 FAFSA form. This process will allow you to complete the
2018–19 FAFSA form in less time.
Using an FSA ID to Sign Your FAFSA Form
An FSA ID is a username and password that you will need if you plan to sign your FAFSA form
electronically. While you are not required to use an FSA ID to sign a FAFSA form
electronically, it is recommended since it’s the fastest way to complete the application process.
If you are a dependent student, then your parent(s) will need to provide some information, and
one parent whose information is reported will need to sign the FAFSA form. Your parent will
need his or her own FSA ID if he or she plans to sign the FAFSA form electronically.
It’s important that you and your parent each create your own FSA ID. You should not create an
FSA ID for your parent, and a parent should not create an FSA ID for you. Your FSA ID has the
same legal status as a written signature and is used to sign legally binding documents
electronically. Don’t share your FSA ID with anyone—even if that person is helping you
complete the FAFSA form. Sharing your FSA ID could put you at risk for identity theft or could
result in problems or delays with your financial aid.
For additional information on the FSA ID and to create your FSA ID, go to
StudentAid.gov/fsaid.




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What happens after I apply?
After receiving your completed application, the FAFSA processor will analyze your FAFSA
information and provide a Student Aid Report (SAR) or a SAR Acknowledgement that
summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA form. Whether you receive your SAR
online or on paper depends on whether you provided an email address on your FAFSA form. If
you have a valid email address on file, you should receive an email within three to five days that
provides a link to view an online copy of your SAR. If you did not provide an email address
when you submitted your FAFSA form, you will receive a paper SAR or SAR Acknowledgement
in the mail within three weeks.
When you get your SAR, review it carefully to make sure it’s correct and complete.
Your FAFSA information is shared with the colleges and/or career schools you list on the
FAFSA form. The financial aid office at each school will use your information to determine
how much federal student aid you may receive at that school. If the school has its own funds to
use for financial aid, it might use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for
that aid as well. You can learn more about what happens after you submit your FAFSA form at
StudentAid.gov/fafsa/next-steps.
What financial aid will I get?
Your eligibility for federal student aid depends on your Expected Family Contribution or EFC
(an index number calculated using your FAFSA information and a formula specified by law),
your year in school, your enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the school you will be
attending. You can learn more about how aid is calculated at StudentAid.gov/how-calculated.
The financial aid office at your school will determine the types of and how much financial aid
you are eligible to receive. Your school’s aid office will send you a financial aid offer (sometimes
called an award letter) explaining the types and amounts of financial aid you may receive from
federal, state, private, and school sources. This combination of aid is your financial aid package.
If you have any questions about your aid offer, contact your school’s financial aid office. If
you’ve applied to several schools, be sure to compare aid offers to see which school will be the
most affordable once aid is taken into account.
How will I get my financial aid?
Your school will distribute your financial aid. How you will receive your aid will depend on
the type of aid. The school will provide you with information on how and when your aid will
be distributed. Typically, the school first applies your aid money toward your tuition, fees, and
(if you live on campus) room and board. Any money left over is paid to you for other
education-related expenses. For more information on receiving aid, go to
StudentAid.gov/fafsa/next-steps/receive-aid.
Additional Resources
After reviewing this document, if you have additional questions about how to complete the
FAFSA form, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-
FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or contact the financial aid office at the school you are interested
in attending. You can also go to Federal Student Aid’s primary website—StudentAid.gov.
StudentAid.gov provides in-depth information on preparing for and funding college, career
school, and graduate school.


                                                10
Instructions for Each Question
When you complete the FAFSA form online at fafsa.gov, you will see instructions for each
question. In addition, further help for each question can be accessed by selecting the question
mark icons located to the right of the questions. The remainder of this document explains the text
that will show after selecting the question mark icons to the right of each FAFSA question.
Note: If you complete the FAFSA form online, then you may automatically skip some questions
based on your answers to earlier questions. For example, if you are considered an independent
student, you will not have to provide your parents’ financial information. The fafsa.gov site will
display only the questions you need to answer.
Overview for Questions 1–31 (All applicants must complete)
Purpose: These questions collect personal identification information (name, telephone number,
address, Social Security number, and so on) as well as other information that affects your basic
eligibility for federal (or state and some institutional) student aid. For example, this section
includes a question about citizenship status because you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible
noncitizen to receive federal student aid.
Question 1: Student’s Last Name (Your last name)
This is your proper last name, not a nickname, and it must exactly match the name on your
Social Security card. Remember to only use letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), periods (.), apostrophes
('), dashes (-), or blanks (spaces). No other characters are allowed.
Question 2: Student’s First Name (Your first name)
This is your proper first name, not a nickname, and it must exactly match the name on your
Social Security card. Remember to only use letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), periods (.), apostrophes
('), dashes (-), or blanks (spaces). No other characters are allowed.
Question 3: Student’s Middle Initial (Your middle initial)
Enter your middle initial. It must exactly match the middle initial on your Social Security card.
You can only use letters (A-Z) or blanks (spaces). No other characters are allowed.
Question 4: Student’s Permanent Mailing Address (Your permanent mailing address)
Enter your street number and street name (include apartment number).
Use street address abbreviations, such as APT (apartment) or AVE (avenue), if the address is
longer than the space provided.
Only use letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), periods (.), commas (,), apostrophes ('), dashes (-),
number symbols (#), at symbols (@), percent symbols (%), ampersands (&), slashes (/), or
blanks (spaces). No other characters are allowed.
Some communications regarding your financial aid application will be sent to your permanent
mailing address if you do not provide an e-mail address. Do not use the address of your school's
financial aid office, any other office, or an address you use only during the school year.
See fafsa.ed.gov/help/ffdef11.htm for instructions on how to enter your address if you live
outside the United States.



                                                11
Question 5: Student’s Permanent City (Your city)
You must enter the city for your permanent mailing address.
Only use letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), periods (.), commas (,), apostrophes ('), dashes (-),
number symbols (#), at symbols (@), percent symbols (%), ampersands (&), slashes (/), or
blanks (spaces). No other characters are allowed.
For information on entering foreign addresses, see fafsa.ed.gov/help/ffdef11.htm.
Question 6: Student’s Permanent State (Your state)
Select the state for your permanent mailing address.
For information on entering foreign addresses, see fafsa.ed.gov/help/ffdef11.htm.
Question 7: Student’s Permanent ZIP Code (Your ZIP code)
You must enter the ZIP code for your permanent mailing address.
For Mexico, Canadian Provinces, or another address outside the United States, enter 00000 for
the ZIP code.
Question 8: Student’s Social Security Number (Your Social Security Number)
You must enter your Social Security Number (SSN) to be considered for Federal Student Aid.
Enter the SSN that is printed on your Social Security card. Enter this number without dashes. For
example, enter 123456789.
Your SSN is automatically filled in on your FAFSA based on the FSA ID or SSN you enter on
the “Login” page. If you incorrectly enter your SSN on the “Login” page, you cannot change it
and you will have to start a new FAFSA.
Special instructions for citizens of the Freely Associated States.
If you do not have an SSN and are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic
of the Marshall Islands, or Palau, otherwise known as the Freely Associated States, enter 666 in
the first three positions of the SSN field and leave the remaining six positions blank. When your
application is processed, the last six digits of the SSN will be assigned to you. You should save
that number and continue to use the same one every year you complete a FAFSA.
If our system has assigned you a nine-digit identifier beginning with 888, enter that identifier,
but replace the 888 with 666.
Question 9: Student’s Date of Birth (Your date of birth)
This is your date of birth in “mmddyyyy” format, and it must exactly match the date of birth on
your Social Security card. For example, if your birthday is May 3, 1980, enter 05031980.
Question 10: Student’s Telephone Number (Your telephone number)
Enter your telephone number. Provide the area code first. Enter the numbers, without parentheses
and dashes. For example, 2025551212. If you do not have a telephone number, you may leave
this question blank.
Question 11: Student’s Driver’s License Number (Your driver's license number)
Enter your driver's license number or the number on your identification card.
Use only numbers (0-9), letters (A-Z), dashes (-), asterisks (*), or blanks (spaces). An asterisk is
not allowed in the first position, and the answer cannot contain all asterisks.
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Question 12: Student’s Driver’s License State (Your driver's license state)
Select the state that issued your driver’s license or identification card. Select Foreign Country if
your license was issued by a foreign country.
Question 13: Student’s E-mail Address (Your e-mail address)
Federal Student Aid uses your e-mail address to communicate important information about your
application. E-mail addresses have only one @ symbol. The first character cannot be the “@”
symbol. Periods cannot be first, last, or next to another period.
Question 14: Student’s Citizenship Status (Are you a U.S. citizen?)
You must select the option that indicates your citizenship status. Select U.S. citizen if you are a
U.S. citizen or U.S. national. Select Eligible noncitizen if you are:
   •   A U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), or a conditional
       permanent resident with a Conditional Green Card (I-551C)
   •   Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department
       of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,”
       “Asylum Granted,” “Parolee” (I-94 confirms that you were paroled for a minimum of one
       year and status has not expired), T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.), or “Cuban-Haitian
       Entrant”
   •   The holder of a valid certification or eligibility letter from the Department of Health and
       Human Services showing a designation of “Victim of human trafficking”
   •   A resident of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or
       the Federated States of Micronesia (FM)
   •   A Canadian-born Native American under terms of the Jay Treaty

Select “Neither citizen nor eligible noncitizen” if you are in the U.S. and have:

   •   Been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
   •   A F1 or F2 student visa
   •   A J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa
   •   A G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)
   •   Other categories not included under U.S. citizen and eligible noncitizen
Question 15: Student’s Alien Registration Number (Your Alien Registration Number)
Enter your eight- or nine-digit Alien Registration Number. If your Alien Registration Number is
eight digits, type a zero before the Alien Registration Number. Do not enter the “A” before the
number.
An answer is not required if you are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall
Islands, or Palau.



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Question 16: Student’s Marital Status (What is your marital status?)
Select the answer that describes your marital status as of the day you submit your Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If your marital status has changed or will change
since the time the application was initially submitted, check with your college’s financial aid
office.
“Married or remarried” does not mean living together unless your state of legal residence
recognizes the relationship as a common law marriage.
For FAFSA purposes, a married couple is separated if the couple is considered legally separated
by a state, or if the couple is legally married but has chosen to live separate lives, including
living in separated households, as though they were not married. If you and your spouse are
separated but living together, select “I am married/remarried,” not “I am separated.”
Note: When two married persons live as a married couple but are separated by physical distance
(or have separate households), they are considered married for FAFSA purposes.
Question 17: Student’s Marital Status Date (Month and year you were married, separated,
divorced, or widowed)
If you are legally married as of today, enter the date you married or remarried. If you are
currently separated, enter the date you became separated. If you are currently divorced, enter the
date you separated or divorced, whichever is earlier. If you are currently widowed, enter the date
you became widowed.
Enter two numbers for the month and four numbers for the year. Do not include a slash (/). If the
month is less than 10, enter a zero in front of the number. For example, if you were married in
August 1989, enter 081989.
Question 18: Student’s State of Legal Residence (What is your state of legal residence?)
Select your current state or country of legal residence. Select Foreign Country if your legal
residence is in a foreign country.
Your answer represents the residency or domicile of your true, fixed, and permanent home. If
you moved into a state for the sole purpose of attending a school, do not count that state as your
state of legal residence.
Each state determines legal residency differently. You should contact your college’s financial aid
office for assistance with state of legal residence qualifications.
Question 19: Was Student a Legal Resident Before January 1, 2013? (Did you become a
legal resident of your state before January 1, 2013?)
Select Yes if you became a legal resident of the state you entered in question 18 before January
1, 2013.
Select No if you became a legal resident of the state you entered in question 18 on or after
January 1, 2013.




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Question 20: Student’s Legal Residence Date (Month and year you became a legal resident)
You indicated you were not a legal resident of the state entered in the state of legal residence
question before January 1, 2013. You must type the month and year you became a legal resident.
Your state will use this information to determine if you meet its criteria for state financial aid.
Enter two numbers for the month and four numbers for the year. If the month is less than 10,
type a zero in front of the number. For example, August 2014 must be entered as 082014. You
cannot enter a year that is later than the current one.
Question 21: Is the Student Male or Female? (Are you male or female?)
Your gender is used to determine if you need to register with the Selective Service System. Most
male citizens and male immigrants must register with the Selective Service System to receive
federal student aid. This requirement applies to any person assigned the sex of male at birth.
   •   Select male if you are male.
   •   Select female if you are female.
Question 22: Register Student With Selective Service? (Most male citizens and male
immigrants must register with the Selective Service System to receive federal student aid. If
you are not registered, select “Register me”)
If you are a male (age 18-25) and not registered with the Selective Service System, select
Register Me and the Selective Service System will register you. You can also register over the
Internet at https://www.sss.gov. This requirement applies to any person assigned the sex of
male at birth.
If you believe that you are not required to register with the Selective Service System, you should
call the Selective Service System office at 1-847-688-6888 for information regarding exemptions
or visit the Selective Service System Web site at https://www.sss.gov/Registration-Info/Who-
Registration.
Question 23: Student Convicted of Possession or Sale (Have you been convicted for the
possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving
federal student aid (grants, work-study, and/or loans)?)
Select No if:
   •   You have never received federal student aid.
   •   You have never had a conviction for possessing or selling illegal drugs.
   •   The conviction was not a state or federal offense.
   •   The conviction occurred before you were 18 years of age and you were not tried as an
       adult.
   •   The conviction was removed from your record.
   •   The offense that led to your conviction did not occur during a period of enrollment for
       which you were receiving federal student aid (grants, work-study, or loans).




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If you select Yes, you may still be eligible for federal student aid. Additional questions will
display to help you determine your eligibility. Past convictions do not automatically make you
ineligible for student aid.
Even if you are not eligible for federal student aid, complete and submit your Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because you may be eligible for state or school financial aid.
For more information about drug-related convictions, call the Federal Student Aid Information
Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Questions 24 and 25: Parent’s Educational Level (Highest school your parent completed)
Select the answer that best describes your parent’s highest level of education completed.
This question is used for state scholarship purposes only and does not affect your eligibility for
federal student aid. For this question, parent means your birth or adoptive parent. Do not answer
this question about a stepparent, legal guardian, or foster parent.
Question 26: Student’s High School or Equivalent Completed? (What will your high school
completion status be when you begin college in the 2018–2019 school year?)
Select the answer that describes your high school completion status on or after July 1, 2018.
   •   High school diploma means you have received or will receive a U.S. high school diploma
       before the first date of your enrollment in college or you have received or will receive a
       foreign school diploma that is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma before the first
       date of your enrollment in college.
   •   GED certificate or state authorized high school equivalent certificate means you have
       received or will receive a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or state
       authorized high school equivalent certificate before the first date of your enrollment in
       college. A state authorized high school equivalent certificate is a certificate that the
       issuing state recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma in that state. Note: A
       high school certificate of attendance and/or a certificate of completion are NOT the
       equivalent of a high school diploma.
   •   Home schooled means you have completed home schooling at the secondary level
       regulated by your state.
   •   None of the above means you do not have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent and
       did not complete secondary school in a home school setting.
Question 27: Student’s High School Name, City, and State
Enter the name, city, and state of the high school where you received or will receive your high
school diploma.
Select Foreign Country from the “In what state is your high school located?” dropdown box if
you received a foreign school diploma that is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma.
Enter as much information as possible to receive the most relevant search results. For the high
school name and city, you may enter the full name or commonly accepted abbreviations or
aliases. For example, you can enter “Kennedy HS” for Kennedy High School, or “St. Paul” for
Saint Paul.
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Click Confirm to continue and we will search for high schools that match the information you
provided. You can then select the correct high school from the search results. If you do not find a
matching high school in the search results, click Next to continue.
If the high school name, city, and state combination that you entered doesn’t match any schools
in our database, then double-check the spelling of the city and/or school name, and try your
search again.
Question 28: First Bachelor’s Degree before 2018–2019 school year? (Will you have your
first bachelor’s degree before you begin the 2018–2019 school year?)
   •   Select Yes if you have or will have a bachelor’s degree by July 1, 2018.
   •   Select Yes if you have or will have a degree that is equal to a bachelor’s degree from a
       school in another country by July 1, 2018.
   •   Select No if you do not and will not have a bachelor’s degree by July 1, 2018.
Question 29: Student’s Grade Level in College in 2018–2019 (What will your college grade
level be when you begin the 2018-2019 school year?)
Select your grade level in college from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. If you are currently a
senior in high school or will be a first-time college student, select Never attended college/1st yr.
“Grade level” does not mean the number of years you have attended college, but refers to your
grade level in regard to completing your degree or certificate. A student who is not enrolled full-
time will require more years than a full-time student to reach the same grade level.
Question 30: Type of Degree/Certificate (What degree or certificate will you be working on
when you begin the 2018–2019 school year?)
Select the degree or certificate that you will be working toward during the 2018–2019 school
year. If your degree or certificate does not fit into any of the categories listed below or if you
are undecided, select Other/undecided from the list.
Question 31: Interested in Work-study? (Are you interested in being considered for work-
study?)
The Federal Work-study Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with
financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses.
   •   Select Yes if you are interested in being considered for work-study. Selecting this
       response does not guarantee that you will be offered Federal Work-study.
   •   Select No if you are not interested in being considered for work-study.
   •   Select Don’t know if you do not know if you are interested in being considered for work-
       study.
All students will be considered for federal student grants and loans. You can decline any
financial aid that is offered to you, including Federal Work-study.




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